What should I expect after a burn injury?
Burn injuries can be debilitating, resulting in the need for major medical care. Ranging from simple bandages to several surgeries, burn injury treatment can vary in severity. When you are a victim of a burn injury, you need to be prepared. A burn injury is not only an emotional experience but also very painful physically. Unfortunately, burn injuries are common and can easily lead to the need for extensive burn injury treatment. A burn injury can occur due to heat, electrocution, exposure to chemicals or even spending time in the sun. If you or someone you love recently suffered a burn injury, take time to speak to our personal injury attorneys. At Cueria Law Firm, we have experience with burn injury cases and are ready to fight for you, building a case to see monetary compensation.
Severe burns can lead to scarring of the body as well as disfigurement. Based on the particulars of your case, you may be entitled to compensation. The type of burn injury treatment you require will be based on the severity of your injury. Third and fourth-degree burns lead to more severe injuries, which can include the need for major surgeries to recover. Such surgeries are expensive and will require ongoing treatment and medication to be successful. Furthermore, burn injury treatment by medical professionals is called burn injury management. In terms of type and severity, burn management plans differ between patients. Typically, first degree burns do not require medical attention. In all other degrees of burn injuries, medical professionals should be consulted to ensure sufficient recovery and to minimize scarring, as well as to prevent complications. Read below for treatment suggestions and to determine the severity of your burn.
What is the first step following a burn injury if I am hospitalized?
In the case of hospitalization, a patient must be stabilized. Stabilizing drugs as well as intravenous fluids may be necessary, depending on the amount of fluid the burn injury patient possibly lost because of the injuries. Typically, IV fluids are required as soon as possible if the patient’s body is covered with more than 20% of burns.
Skin graft surgery may be required for patients where damage is severe. This type of surgery involves transplanting healthy skin removed from another location on the patient’s body to the location of the burn. Split-thickness skin grafts or full-thickness skin grafts may be used. The epidermis, as well as the dermis, are used for split-thickness skin grafting. Full-thickness skin grafts are used for more serious burns and include transplants of blood supply and muscles.
Other Professional Medical Treatment
A physician may begin treatment of the burns as well as complications resolved due to burning once a patient arrives at a medical facility. The patient may receive antibiotics to prevent infection and intravenous fluids from preventing dehydration. Skin grafts or other surgical techniques are often used by physicians to recreate the protective layer of skin which was burned.
Louisiana burns injury cases can be extremely complex, requiring the knowledge of a skilled attorney. Often times, experts are needed to identify the cause and origin of the fire, which resulted in the victim’s injury. Furthermore, to determine the cost and scope necessary to medically care for the victim’s burn injury treatment in the future, medical experts are required.
Some of the professionals that may be a part of your rehabilitation team include:
- Physical Therapists: Physical therapists help people regain or maximize their movement and functional ability after a debilitating accident. Burn injury victims can benefit from physical therapy when their burns are severe or have resulted in joint damage. Scarring after a burn can result in a tightening of the skin and make free movement of the body very difficult. A physical therapist will work with burn injury victims by using a variety of stretches, exercises, and massage techniques to increase the range of motion and sooth pain.
- Occupational Therapists: An occupational therapist helps people with serious injuries regain the abilities and skills they had before the accident. Burn injury victims may benefit from occupational therapy, especially when it is paired with physical therapy for their burn injury treatment. The occupational therapist will work with patients to relearn daily living skills so they can go back to living independently after an accident that resulted in serious injury.
- Psychologists and Psychiatrists: A burn injury is traumatic and can result in long-lasting physical and emotional damage. As a victim of a burn injury, you should seek the assistance of a psychologist or psychiatrist during rehabilitation. A mental health professional can help victims understand and process the devastating injury that they have suffered and develop the mental strength needed throughout the recovery process.
Types of Therapy for a Burn Injury
Physiotherapy burn injury treatment may be required for burn injuries that cover large parts of the body or those that have resulted in joint damage. This rehabilitation modality focuses on restoring the normal movement and function of the injured part of the body. After a burn injury, scarring and other changes to the skin can cause tightening. The tightening makes normal movement difficult and often results in a decrease in the ability to use the injured body part.
The physical therapist will work with patients to learn various exercises, stretches, and techniques to increase the range of motion and build strength in the muscles. The therapist may also use massage techniques to help ease the pain. Another benefit of physical therapy is the emotional healing that is possible as the patient regains physical strength and ability.
Some common therapies a patient may experience during a physical therapy session include:
- Skin Lubrication: During physical therapy, the burn injury victim will learn how to keep their burn scars lubricated. Lubrication is an essential part of recovery since the stretching and other exercises performed during therapy can result in pulled, stretched, or cracked skin around the injuries. Keeping the skin moist will help the skin heal and reduce the itchiness that is common during the healing process.
- Stretching: Perhaps the most important aspect of physical therapy burn injury treatment is regaining the patient’s normal range of motion. The physical therapist may use techniques such as long, slow stretches that may be done manually or by using weights, traction, or splinting. Along with stretching, the therapist will recommend a variety of strength-building exercises to redevelop weakened muscles due to inactivity after the injury.
- Splinting: Splinting helps keep the scarred tissue from further contracting. A physical therapist may use splinting to maintain an extended position in the scarred skin during exercise or stretching work during a therapy session. Splinting is an effective treatment method that uses gentle force to remodel the injured tissue.
The rehabilitation process after a burn injury will be difficult. As the victim of a serious burn injury, you will have a long road ahead of you that will include seeing a number of specialists. Physical therapy will help you to regain much of the motion lost after the injury. It will also help you to redevelop the strength and muscle tone that you had previously. It will be hard work, but you will be able to experience more freedom and independence in your life. The New Orleans attorneys at Cueria Law Firm will fight to get you the compensation you need and deserve after a severe burn injury. Our attorneys care about getting you the help you need so you can begin your physical and mental recovery.
Some of the damages they have helped clients recover include:
- Medical Expenses
- Past Lost Wages
- Loss of Future Wages
- Emotional and Physical Pain and Suffering
- Permanent Disability
- Scarring and Disfigurement
Occupational therapy is a critical part of the rehabilitation process for many burn injury victims. An occupational therapist is a medical professional who focuses on helping patients regain the ability to perform daily living skills with independence. The goal of occupational therapy is to get people back to living the life they led before the accident or injury in the areas of self-care, leisure, and work.
The occupational therapist will work with patients to minimize scarring and contractures. Contracture scars are a tightening of the skin over the burn area. They often result in a reduction in the range of motion and the inhibition of movement. All burn injuries are different. The role of the occupational therapist for a burn injury patient will vary depending on the severity and location of the burn injury as well as the specific goals of the patient.
Occupational therapy for burn injuries may include the following:
- Skin Protection: The injured skin is very delicate. During rehabilitation, the occupational therapist will make sure that the healing skin is protected. They will commonly use techniques such as splinting and positioning to maintain the damaged skin in positions that promote healing. The occupational therapist will also educate the patient on how to protect the healing skin from the sun and keep it lubricated during the recovery process.
- Swelling Management: Swelling is common after serious burn injuries. Swelling can decrease the burn injury victim’s range of motion and prevent healing. The occupational therapist may use compression techniques to reduce swelling. The therapist may also use a combination of elevation and positioning to aid in the reduction of swelling in a limb or other injured body part.
- Scar Management: Scarring after a burn injury can cause pain and a reduction in the patient’s range of motion. Scars can also be emotionally difficult for the burn injury victim and their family. The occupational therapist will work with the patient to manage the scarring through the use of compression techniques and massage.
The rehabilitation process after a burn injury is long and can be mentally and physically challenging. In addition to the support of family and friends, a skilled burn management team of medical professionals will help the burn victim regain some of the physical abilities that they once had. An experienced attorney can help the victim get the monetary compensation they deserve after suffering a burn injury that was due to the negligence of another person, business, or other entity.
A severe burn injury not only leaves its victims with serious physical pain and trauma, but there is also profound emotional and psychological pain that will result. Psychiatric therapy should be included as part of a successful rehabilitation regimen for a victim of a traumatic burn injury. After your initial treatment, you will be undergoing an extensive recovery process. Recovery can be very costly, both financially and emotionally, for burn victims and their families. This stress can add to the already difficult situation that victims experience after an injury.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident that resulted in a severe burn injury, you should contact an experienced burn injury attorney like those at Cueria Law Firm in Louisiana. Our team of professional and compassionate attorneys understands the pain you are going through. They will help you know your rights so you can get the financial compensation you deserve to aid in your mental and physical recovery. Let our team help you get the money you deserve as well as the peace of mind in knowing that those responsible for your injuries are held accountable.
Psychological Effects and Psychological Therapy
Burn trauma can dramatically affect a person’s life, including their work, family, independence, and personal well-being. The most severe burns can leave victims with physical disfigurements as well as new restrictions on their physical abilities. The incident that caused the injury is often a traumatic accident or attack that can cause the injured person to feel unsafe, scared, and helpless. The emotional toll of processing the accident along with the physical pain and suffering can be a hefty burden for many victims to carry.
After the injury and immediate medical care, there is still trauma associated with the treatment process. The treatment and rehabilitation for burn injuries can be painful and long, making the emotional recovery from the trauma difficult.
Some of the most common emotional effects seen after burn trauma include:
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Loss of feelings of safety and security
- Loss of independence
Your medical team during your recovery will most likely be comprised of physical therapists, occupational therapists, and psychiatrists or psychologists. A psychiatrist is a medical professional that has expertise in diagnosing and treating mental symptoms. Each of these professionals is trained to work with burn injury victims on specific goals. They all play an essential role in the rehabilitation process. The rehabilitation process will be difficult for the victim and their family. It is crucial to follow through on all therapies during rehabilitation to make sure you are getting the care you need on your road to recovery. With psychiatric therapy, the victims of serious burn injuries can gain the mental strength to handle the many challenges they will face during recovery. The psychiatrist can help victims work through the trauma of the initial accident and the treatment that follows. He or she can also work with victims to help them regain their sense of safety, security, and independence that they may have lost after the injury.
Help From an Experienced New Orleans Attorney
A burn injury can be a painful and traumatic experience for anyone to go through. If you or someone you care about has suffered a burn injury due to the negligence of another party or entity, a Louisiana burn injury lawyer can help. The skilled and knowledgeable team at Cueria Law Firm can help you receive the compensation needed to move forward after a burn injury. Contact our burn injury attorneys as soon as possible.